A bigger challenge

January 18, 2019

IT is certainly lamentable that Filipino taxpayers, including the poorest of the poor, have to spend P42 billion just to clean up and rehabilitate historic and sun-kissed Manila Bay.

Why should Juan dela Cruz’s hard-earned money be used to finance the clean-up of the ancient bay, the site of the famous naval battle of the Spanish-American war in May 1898?

“Dapat tumulong din sa gobyerno ang mga taong sumira at patuloy na sumisira sa Manila Bay para maibalik ang ganda ng isa sa paboritong pasyalan ng mga turista,” said an elderly.

Dubbed “Manila Bay Action Plan,” the massive undertaking is being spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under Secretary Roy Cimatu.

The rehabilitation is set to start Sunday, January 27, when the DENR releases the initial list of violators found to be dumping untreated wastewater either into the bay or its waterways.

Compared to the just-concluded rehabilitation of Boracay Island, the clean-up of Manila Bay is a much bigger challenge, said Cimatu, a former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Thus, he urged all stakeholders, including local government units and civil society, to support the undertaking, describing it as “not an impossible mission” as long as all hands are on the deck.

It is the most polluted body of water in the country due to domestic sewage, toxic and hazardous industrial effluents from factories and shipping operations and leachate from garbage dumps.

And certainly, it’s high time to hit hard at all violators of environmental laws, rules and regulations.

Ang totoo niyan ay marami pa sa atin, lalo na ang mga iskwater, ang ginagawang basurahan ang mga ilog, lawa at iba pang daanan ng tubig sa ibat-ibang parte ng bansa.